Does the pressure upon the leader become amplified as the format shortens from Test to One Day to T20?
Does the brevity allow the dynamics of a leader reveal a sense of clarity more critical in the maelstrom of white ball cricket?
In recent years, England have found the exhilaration in dominating India and Australia in Test matches, a feeling quickly tempered during the immediate One Day Series. Captain Alastair Cook, the target of much concern. His capital gain from the long form rapidly evaporating as the build up for the World Cup gathers momentum on the back of losses and unsubstantial innings.
The dynamic has had a dulling impact upon the team. Only a few were able to rise above, Joe Root continuing his outstanding summer.
Curiously though, Eoin Morgan despite several promising starts in the One Day matches, never achieved the outcome he would have desired. Technical flaws against spin being touted by the critics, or impetuosity from being contained. Similar criticism that he received during his Test career.
But then as if by magic when shifted into the leadership of the T20 team, bang, everything falls into place. A team with energy, excitement, innovation, application and composure.
In this case we have been able to witness a leader who has flourished again, returning to the One Day team. The same ingredients emerging within the team. An ability to be adaptable and handle changes of personnel. A belief that has no boundaries as new standards are being set.
As a leader, Morgan has been able to draw upon a wealth of experience. Being regularly involved in IPL and BBL has given him regular exposure to situations, conditions and the wisdom of others to form his own tactical methods and nous. The involvement did not always include playing, many matches he was left on the bench (watching others should also be viewed as development).
It could also be stated that in the consistent role of a “finisher” he has naturally developed a reliable ability to handle pressure when the requirement is to influence a game and arrive at the position to be able to win.
With many competitions now consisting of the three formats, is it worth considering using the pressure from within the white ball game as a development space for leadership?